Oghenekaro Nelson Odume, PhD

Nelson pictureCurrent position: Senior Researcher/Director, Unilever Centre for Environmental Water Quality, Institute for Water Research

Qualifications: PhD (Water Resource Science), Rhodes University, MSc (Water Resource Science), Rhodes University, BSc (Hons) (Zoology), Delta State University

Email: n.odume@ru.ac.za Tel: +27 46 622 2428

Research Interest

Water is life and my passion for sustainable freshwater resource management is the ultimate driver of my research. Water resources are increasingly threatened by freshwater pollution, environmental change and increasing industrialization, leading to deteriorating water quality. Highly sensitive and integrative monitoring tools are therefore needed for sustainable watershed management. My focus has been on the development of integrative and multi-criteria tools for monitoring and managing water quality and assessing human impact on water resources.

My principal research interests include;

  • Water quality and pollution studies/management, focusing on pollution assessment, monitoring tool development and knowledge uptake by end-users and key stakeholders;
  • Aquatic ecosystems ecology and resilience, with keen interest in novel tool for assessing ecosystem function, processes and structure in relation to environmental change
  • Aquatic ecosystem services/ecological infrastructure and social-economic dynamics/livelihoods
  • Ecology and ecotoxicology of contaminants of emerging concerns
  • Transdisciplinary water science

Most recent publications

  • Odume, ON, Palmer, CG, Arimoro, FO and Mensah, PK. (2015) Influence of selected biotopes on chironomid-based bioassessment of the Swartkops River, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Journal: Water SA 41 (3): 343 – 358. Nature of Journal: Subsidy earning accredited journal.
  • Arimoro, FO, Odume, ON, Uhunoma, SI, and Edegbene, AO (2015) Anthropogenic impact on water chemistry and benthic macroinvertebrate associated changes in a southern Nigeria stream. Journal: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment DOI 10.1007/s10661-014-4251-2. Nature of Journal: Subsidy earning accredited journal.
  • Arimoro FO, Odume, ON and Meme FK (2015) Environmental drivers of head capsule deformities in Chironomus spp. (Diptera: Chironomidae) in a stream in north central Nigeria. Journal: Zoology and Ecology 25 (1): 70 -76. Nature of Journal: Accredited but not subsidy earning.
  • Odume, ON, Palmer, CG, Arimoro, FO and Mensah, PK (2014) Patterns of chironomid body-size distribution in an effluent-impacted river in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Journal: African Journal of Aquatic Science 39 (4): 377-386. Nature of Journal: Subsidy earning accredited journal.

Current Research funded projects

Project title

Funding organisation


Towards ecosystem functional and structural assessment for better decision making to enhance the delivery of ecosystem goods and services

National Research Foundation (NRF)

Water Research Commission (WRC)

2014 – present

The role of environmental ethics in water resource management in the context of social-ecological system

Water Research Commission (WRC)

April 2014 – present.


Development and benchmarking of a decision support system for aquatic testing: technology transfer and implementation of the toxicity testing guideline/technology


Water Research Commission (WRC)

April 2015 – present

An investigation on the potential use of macroinvertebrate trait-based approach in the sustainable management of riverine systems within an urbanized catchment, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Carnegie-RISE (Regional Initiatives in Science and Education) Programme


April 2015 – present

The development of bio-assessment protocols for Nigerian streams by refining and modifying the South African Scoring System (SASS)

Carnegie-RISE (Regional Initiatives in Science and Education) Programme


February 2015 – present

Water quality and biomonitoring for Richards Bay Mineral

Richards Bay Mineral

2013 - present

Last Modified: Wed, 25 Oct 2017 08:57:57 SAST